Judge said Cohen on thin ice

Judge said Cohen on thin ice

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The Judge at Parramatta’s Criminal Court of Appeals warned Mr Cohen that his appeal against his criminal conviction for lying during a Tribunal could easily backfire, and that the more he (via his solicitor) presented futile arguments, the more likely it is that the Judge would re-open the case and drop a bombshell. This is called a Parker Direction. It means that anyone who so wants to try their luck at an appeal, had better have a very good reason — being something more than a lucky-dip to see if they could waste the court’s time in the hope that they might find a more lenient judge to help them to erase their criminal record.

After being convicted for lying to a Tribunal, Mr Cohen appealed. The Appeals Hearing took place at Parramatta on Tuesday 30 August 2011; the very day that I had landed in India (using SpiceJet of all airlines) to present a series of lectures at the Institute of Technology. Upon checking into my hotel, the TV was switched to a shopping channel. Which ad greeted me? Some hair restoration ad showing before-and-after shots of balding men who, all of a sudden, looked young again. And the word that they kept flashing up? Herbal!

The Indians love herbs and spices, it seems, just as much as they love their curries. I now understand why Mr Cohen told (lied to) me and others that his special hair treatment contains Indian Curries, Spices, Herbs, and other Natural Extracts. The inflight magazine contained an article headed, ‘Fight cancer with herbs.’ Another TV ad promised to help people grow larger and taller (by two and three feet!) in only three months, simply by using certain herbs. Oh wow, the amazing power of herbs. If they can make a person grow three feet taller, one would think herbs could make hair grow. And that’s what Mr Cohen has been telling people, insisting that he had discovered the secret formula that no other person in the world knows about. By having us believe this, he can charge us ridiculous amounts for nothing at all. The common question people ask me is how someone like me can be so gullible to believe it. The testimonials, the ads, the guarantee, and the amazing before and after photos were convincing. What he never told me, and what an average consumer could never know, was that the amazing cosmetic results achieved by some of his clients were attained after the clients took non-approved dangerous medications that should never have been mixed together, and products which the TGA clearly and emphatically says should not be used for hair growth, and products which have very bad side effects including heart failure and death. By concealing the truth, we were conned and scammed. His Indian Curries never existed. After I exposed the scam, Mr Cohen started to ask his pharmacists to inject something, anything, just so that he can say he does inject something. The pharmacists have since confirmed that it was all non-existent, and the other silly water they were asked to inject contained no active ingredients and no therapeutic effect. As for the Vitamins that he says he now injects, they are useless too.

Back to the court room: While appealing the conviction, Mr Cohen’s lawyer tried to drag my name into it, as if I had anything to do with Mr Cohen’s decision to lie. The judge was not interested. He said that Mr Cohen’s blatant lie at CTTT (about being a Bachelor of Science when he clearly was not) is no trivial matter. The judge said that the offence carries a $5500 fine along with a possible 12 month prison term. The judge noted that Mr Cohen got off lightly, and that Mr Cohen was lucky not to have been served with a harsher penalty.

Mr Cohen’s lawyer then asked if the Judge would consider a Section 10, which basically means that the conviction would be erased from Mr Cohen’s records. This made the judge even more upset, so he made it clear that he was giving a Parker Direction, which essentially is a polite and legal way of saying something like, ‘Listen up my good man! If I have any more of your rants, you might tempt me to review your crime and impose a much harsher penalty befitting the crime, so stop trying my patience with your pathetic appeal and get out of here before I hand down a sentence that you might find harder to swallow. Case Dismissed!’

The gavel came down, and Mr Cohen went home just as he came, still carrying the serious criminal conviction of lying to a Tribunal. I have said that every single thing that Mr Cohen has uttered to me, or about me, has been a lie. He showed no ethics and no regard towards me. I have witnessed his lies about his other clients. And now we know that Mr Sam Cohen of IHRB shows no respect during a Tribunal Hearing. I always knew it. I am glad that the Department of Fair Trading was incensed enough at Mr Cohen’s misconduct, to charge him and appoint a Government prosecutor to take him to task. It was no trivial matter. If it were, the Department would not have pursued Mr Cohen. It has nothing to do with me. It was Mr Cohen who lied. He had lied long before I met him. He boasted about his non-existant Degree in a company annual report many years ago, when he was made a Director for a short period. He lied in an Affidavit in a case involving a client, long before I ever met Mr Cohen. So his penchant for lying was not triggered by me. Fancy lying in an Affidavit.

Mr Cohen’s argument in court was that his lie was insignificant. If it were insignificant, why did he state his lie in a corporate annual report? If his Degree were insignificant, why would he voluntarily state it in an Affidavit that he furnished to a Court to sway a court case against one of his victims who nearly died? He made those statements because he knew the importance of positioning himself as some scientific guru. He knew how it all played-out within the bigger scheme of things — such as when he lied to me about having invented some special top-secret Indian Curries that made hair grow like no other medication on earth. To go around town bolstering his academic qualifications, was significant to him and to his career, in order to position himself as some hair man who claims to be the best in the world, and thereby charging $900 for a bottle that others sold at $75. If it were insignificant, why did he go to great lengths to lie to me, to his other clients, and to the Court and to the Tribunal? His academic qualification was a significant piece of the puzzle that enabled him to con me and others out of thousands of dollars each, some forking out more than $10,000 down the drain. So now he wants the judge to pretend that it does not really matter?

Hooray for a smart judge! Yippee for a switched-on team at CTTT whose Chairperson (Ms Kay Ransome) raised the matter with Fair Trading. And yay to Fair Trading who understood how serious such a crime is, and did something about it. Such Departments have better things to do than pursue insignificant matters.

Ipso facto, Mr Cohen’s lie was significant.

P.S. The story was picked up by ‘The Daily Telegraph’ and ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ on page 33 on 4 September 2011 and syndicated to other papers in the group, including ‘The Daily Telegraph’. Below we see the Google search results for this story, whose headline reads, ‘Hair salesman caught in lie’.

Here is a scan of ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ of 4 September 2011. The headline says, ‘Hair salesman caught in lie’. The article reads:

A Leichhardt hair loss salesman convicted of lying to Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal has withdrawn his appeal after a judge warned him that his original fine be hiked.

Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty managing director Samuel Faraj Cohen was ordered to pay nearly $1000 after falsely informing the CTTT that he had a Bachelor of Science degree.

Cohen, who is still trading, was hauled before the CTTT to defend an action brought by a disgruntled customer who was seeking a refund regarding dubious hair restoration.

Fair trading commissioner Rod Stow said: “This outcome serves as a reminder to traders that dishonest behaviour will catch up with them.”

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